It started about two years ago. I felt a fiery burning pain in my chest and shortness of breath while climbing a steep hill. I had a echocardiographic stress test done and found nothing. It was getting worse under any heavy riding like the sprint at the start of a race.
I had a new test done, a nuclear stress test where they injected a solution in my veins and took pictures. That resulted in a third test called a cardiac catheterization. After this test it was decided that I needed major surgery. My left coronary artery (widow maker) was 100% blocked. Two others were near the same. I needed a triple bypass all on my 50th birthday to add more drama to the situation.
So surgery went well, not sure because I can’t remember much from those few days during and after. Recovery was four weeks of absolutely nothing… no riding, no lifting, nothing.
After five weeks I started Cardiac rehab at St Joseph’s Michigan Heart.
After ten weeks I started riding my bike on the paved pathway’s.
Twelve weeks later I raced in the Barry Roubaix Gravel road race.
Last month I started racing in the MMBA championship points series.
So what I have learned is that if something does not feel right, it’s not right and get tested!! I am not 100% yet, my muscles are fatigued all the time. They ache like I did a century the day before (a side affect from my medication).
I would like to give a special thanks to St. Joseph’s Michigan Heart, my surgeon Dr. Pruitt, Wheels in Motion bike shop, my wife, and all the people in my family and friends who have supported me through this adventure.
– Kevin LaRoe